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Thu, Mar 28


Merrimans' Playhouse

Don Lerman Trio with Reneé Miles-Foster

Our Home Grown Jazz Performance Series presents the Don Lerman Trio, featuring Don Lerman on saxophone, Billy Foster on piano, and Darrel Tidaback on bass, with special guest Reneé Miles-Foster on vocals.

Registration is Closed due to COVID. ALL cancelled concerts will be rescheduled.
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Don Lerman Trio with Reneé Miles-Foster
Don Lerman Trio with Reneé Miles-Foster

Time & Location

Mar 28, 2024, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM

Merrimans' Playhouse, 401 E Colfax Ave, South Bend, IN 46617, USA


About the Event

TICKETS are $10 General/$5 Student.

The Don Lerman Trio will be joined by special guest vocalist Renee Miles-Foster in this varied musical program. Having the honor to accompany Reneé will be Don Lerman on saxophone, Billy Foster on piano, and Darrel Tidaback on bass, who will perform trio selections as well. The Fosters are based in Gary, Indiana, with Billy Foster a renowned pianist and Renee a distinctive vocal stylist. Renee’s musical studies at Indiana University were followed by graduate studies in gospel and spiritual music at Atlanta University. In her ensuing professional career, Renee has performed in many settings, singing jazz, gospel, spiritual and pop music throughout Chicago, the US, and abroad. Among her special mentors at the professional level are Etta Jones, Sonny Stitt, Arthur Prysock, Louie Bellson, and her husband and longtime friend, pianist and arranger William “Billy” Foster. Journalist and educator Charlena Taylor has described Renee as an “engaging and a beautiful visionary.” 

Don Lerman - saxophone

Billy Foster - piano

Darrel Tidaback - bass

Reneé Miles-Foster - vocals

Don Lerman is a saxophonist and South Bend native with extensive performing experience in the Washington DC area, including work in big bands as well as popular groups such as the Uptown Rhythm Kings and the J Street Jumpers. His jazz influences include Charlie Parker, Lee Konitz, Paul Desmond, Sonny Rollins, Stan Getz, and Gerry Mulligan. His concerts at Merrimans' Playhouse have profiled Benny Carter, Lucky Thompson, Vince Guaraldi, and other notable figures in jazz.

Billy Foster is a respected pianist, composer, educator and producer. Mr. Foster worked as a music educator in the Gary Community Schools for 35 years, served as jazz piano instructor at Valparaiso University for 34 years and is currently piano and Jazz History instructor at Indiana University Northwest. He has conducted many jazz lectures, clinics and educational performances and remains active as a professional musician and band- leader. He has played concerts with acclaimed jazz artists Jimmy Heath, Red Rodney , Clark Terry, Terell Stafford, Curtis Fuller, Tom Harrell, Ernie Watts, Bobby Watson, Henry Johnson and many others. Billy Foster’s work may be heard on several CDs including “For The Moment” and “Journey” recorded by the Valparaiso University Faculty Jazz Trio. “Portrait” and “Music For Jazz Vespers” are CDs recorded by the Billy Foster Trio. Mr. Foster received a B.S. from Defiance College and M.M. from Roosevelt University, with additional study at New York University and with pianist Jaki Byard.

Reneé Miles-Foster began singing at an early age, influenced by the jazz music shared by her parents and by Chicago’s popular radio host “Daddy-O Daylie.” Reneé soon became familiar with the wonderful musical artistry and many styles of such artists as Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Mahalia Jackson, Johnny Hartman, Joe Williams, Billy Holiday, Edith Piaf, Rosemary Clooney, and Frank Sinatra.

Her musical studies at Indiana University Northwest and Indiana University-Bloomington were followed by further work in gospel and spiritual music at Atlanta University under the direction of renowned composer Dr. Wendell Whalum. Reneé’s vocal techniques were polished under the tutelage of Eva Brooks, Ralph Klapis, Earline Owens, and her cherished mentors and confidantes, Donald Thompson, and Raleigh Williams.

Reneé Miles-Foster has performed in many settings, singing jazz, gospel, and spiritual music throughout Chicago, the US, and abroad in Munich, Frankfurt, Germany, and Switzerland. Her special mentors at the professional level include Etta Jones, Sonny Stitt, Arthur Prysock, Louie Bellson, and her husband and friend for over 50+ years, William “Billy” Foster, with whom she has performed regularly.

Charlena Taylor, educator, community advocate and columnist for the Gary Info Newspaper said of Reneé, “Reneé’s talents enlighten others who soon realize that they are in the presence of a genius who is both engaging and also a beautiful visionary.”

Darrel Tidaback is a South Bend bassist with a history of directing the IUSB Jazz Ensemble and Twin Cities Jazz Orchestra. He began his college teaching career at St. Mary’s University, San Antonio, Texas in 1990. Darrel may be heard with jazz and orchestral groups throughout the region. He has performed on more than twenty recordings including his own Timelines. Darrel holds an undergraduate degree in music from Saint Mary’s University and a Master of Music degree in string bass performance from the University of Texas, San Antonio.

Concerts and events made possible, in part, with support from the Wells Philanthropic Services provided by grants from the John, Anna, and Martha Jane Fields Memorial Trust Foundation, Stanley A. and Flora P. Clark Memorial Community Trust Foundation, and the Florence V. Carroll Charitable Trust, The Esther and George Jaruga Charitable Foundation, the Community Foundation of St. Joseph County's ArtsEverywhere initiative, and the Arts Project Support Grant and Arts Recovery Grant through the Indiana Arts Commission. Concert support provided by the Arts Midwest Grow, Invest, Gather (GIG) Fund grant (2022-2023 season).


  • General

    $10 Advanced or Door

    Sale ended
  • Student

    $5 Student/Discount

    Sale ended



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